Recipes: Methi Palak Dal

I’ve blogged about dals many times previously and here’s another one today. I had some fresh methi leaves and so instead of making it into a sabzi or kneading it into a dough for methi parathas, I thought of adding it to a dal with some fresh spinach. The result was a super yummy dal that kept well even when we had it the next day.

Methi and Palak Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh methi or fenugreek leaves, plucked, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh palak or spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal, washed and soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak the chopped spinach and methi in some water so that any dirt gets to the bottom. Wash it well and keep it aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee and oil and when warm, add the cumin seeds. Let the seeds pop and then add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the finely chopped onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the finely chopped tomatoes and some salt and let the onions cook.
  • When the tomatoes start to turn mushy and are fully cooked, add in the chopped greens and saute till the greens start to wilt.
  • At this point, add in the soaked dal and add salt, jaggery, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Add in water to cover the dal, close the cooker and cook it for three whistles. If you are cooking on a stovetop, cook until the dal is completely cooked and the dal is completely dissolved.
  • Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal and greens together and switch on the flame again
  • Adjust seasonings and add water to bring it to the consistency you desire and when you are satisfied with the taste and consistency, switch off the flame and add the lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis or any Indian flatbread.

Recipes: Dahi Dal aka Yogurt Dal

I have been mulling about this recipe ever since I saw something like this on social media. And I recently got a chance to play around with this recipe. I had some leftover dal which was not enough to make an actual dal, I was saving it to make rasam but decided to make this instead. This is actually a very simple recipe and takes hardly any time to make, especially if like me, you already have the prepared dal.

Dahi Dal aka Yogurt Lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup prepared moong or toor dal
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beaten yoghurt
  • 2 tsp gramflour or besan
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and when it warms up, add in the cumin seeds and let the seeds splutter. Then add the dried red chillies and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Then add in the onions and saute until the onions become translucent.
  • Now add in the ginger and garlic pastes and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Beat the prepared dal till it is a creamy consistency and pour it in and let it come to a rolling boil.
  • In the meantime beat the yoghurt well with the gram flour so that there are no lumps.
  • When the dal is boiling, slowly add in the yoghurt and stir continuously so that the yoghurt does not start stringing.
  • Add salt and sugar to taste. Add more water to thin it as per preference.
  • Crush the kasuri methi in the palms of your hands and add it to the dal. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Recipes: Panchmel Dal

I have mentioned before that dal is an integral part of Indian cuisine and this dal comes to us from the state of Rajasthan. I have been curious about this dal for a while now and when I finally made it, I had to share it.

This dal is usually made from five different types of dal, but you can play with the types of dal and use less than five or more if you want. It usually made from toor dal, moong dal, chana dal, moong dal and black urad dal. The dal becomes quite thick when it cools down so it needs to be made slightly thinner than usual.

Panchmel Dal

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ¼ cup masoor dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp crushed Kasuri Methi
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium-sized finely chopped onion
  • 2 finely chopped medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Wash and rinse the dals multiple times. Soak them in hot water for a few hours.
  • Once the dals are soaked, drain the water and transfer the soaked dals to a pressure cooker.
  • Add ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp ghee and water to cover the dals and pressure cook for about 6-7 whistles.
  • When the pressure reduces, open the pressure cooker, and check if the dals are cooked. Mash lightly and keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat about 2 tbsp ghee and add the balance bay leaf, the black cardamom, 1 tsp tsp cumin seeds and 1 dried chilli.
  • Saute the spices on a low flame until the spices start becoming fragrant.
  • At this point, add the finely chopped onion, and saute until the onions become translucent.
  • When the onions become golden brown, add 1 tsp chilli powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin powder and some salt and saute for a while.
  • When the spices have mixed well into the onion paste, add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes become soft, mushy and start to disintegrate.
  • When this whole mixture starts bubbling, add the cooked dals and mix well adjusting consistency as required.
  • Cover and simmer on a low to medium flame for about 10 minutes or until the flavours are well absorbed.
  • Then add the garam masala, crush the Kasuri Methi in the palms of your hands and add to the dal.
  • In a smaller skillet, heat the balance ghee and add the balance cumin seeds, ¼ tsp chillu powder and the remaining dried chilli and let it splutter.
  • Pour this tempering into the dal, add the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian flatbreads.

Recipes: Gujarati Khatta Mung aka Whole Green Gram Dal in a Buttermilk Gravy

Dal is a staple in most indian households with some variety of the protein packed dish made across the country. So, in order that we don’t get bored with the same kind of dal, I am always on the lookout for interesting takes and variations.

I saw this dal in one of my friend’s Facebook posts and it looked interesting enough to try it. My version may not be the most authentic one, but I enjoyed making and eating the dal. This is a staple in most Gujarati households, but you won’t find this in most restaurants. So let’s see how this is made…

Gujarati Khatta Mung aka Whole Green Gram Dal in a Buttermilk Gravy

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whole green moong dal, soaked for 4-6 hours
  • ½ to 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp gram flour or besan
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1-inch piece of minced ginger
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish

Method:

  • Drain the soaked moong dal and in a large pan, cook the soaked and drained moong dal with just enough water to cover it for about 5-7 minutes until it is just cooked and tender. Make sure it does not get mushy.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the yoghurt well and add the gram flour, turmeric powder, asafoetida, some salt and about a cup of water and whisk till it is smooth with no lumps. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in another pan and when the oil warms, add the mustard seeds and let the seeds crackle. Then add the cumin seeds and stir for a couple of seconds, followed by the curry leaves. Stir till the curry leaves start to become crisp. Then add the slit green chilles and the ginger and saute for about 30-40 seconds.
  • Now add the cooked moong dal into this tempering and then the yoghurt gram flour mixture and allow everything to come to a nice rolling boil. Let this simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes.
  • Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  • Turn off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice and a simple vegetable stir fry for a homely lunch.

Recipes: Spinach Dal Medley

Dals are an integral part of an Indian household and whether it is a south Indian Sambar or a plain dal from Punjab, every state, in fact every household has some type of dal preparation which is unique to themselves. I usually make dal at least twice or thrice a week and sometimes when I can’t think of something to make, I just throw something together, hoping what ends up is something edible. This dal was the result of one of those experimentations. I had some spinach which was starting to go bad and so decided to make this power packed protein and iron filled dal. The other good thing about this recipe is that it is a one pot recipe!

Spinach Dal Medley

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped spinach
2 tbsp each of the following dals – toor dal, yellow moong dal, orange masoor dal and chana dal
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee or oil

Method:
Wash the dals thoroughly and soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Wash the spinach thoroughly to remove all the dirt it may have.
In the pressure cooker, heat the ghee or oil and and when the fat warms up, add the cumin seeds and let the seeds pop.
After the cumin seeds pop, add in the ginger-garlic paste and stir for a couple of seconds. Now add the finely chopped onions and stir until the onions turn translucent.
Now add thechopped and washed spinach and let it wilt.
Then add the washed dals and stir for a bit. Add enough water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
When the pressure reduces, open the cooker and put it on the gas again and stir well.
Add the tamarind paste, salt and red chilli powder as well as the garam masala powder and stir well and also check for seasoning.
Let the dal come to a nice rolling boil. If it is too thick for your liking, thin it as per your taste.
Serve hot over steamed rice with a stir fried vegetable of your choice. This also makes for a very tasty spinach lentil soup.